Bhubaneswar: The Odisha BJP, which is all set to contest ensuing panchayat elections with the anti-BJD slogan, once again landed at a cross road after another party heavyweight praised chief minister Naveen Patnaik at a public rally in Uttar Pradesh.
While Addressing a public gathering, Union Home minister Rajnath Singh recently appreciated the Odisha CM terming him ‘honest’ for supporting Centre’s decision on demonetisation. “It is not only BJP, but leaders outside our party are also praising the note ban decision. In Odisha, BJD leader Naveen Patnaik also backed our stand. Those are honest, they are favouring the note ban decision”, Singh said.
This remark has once again put the State BJP in a spot as the Odisha leaders had a meeting of district heads in recent past to overcome the dilemma whether the leaders would follow the path of party president Amit Shah who asked the voters to uproot BJD for allegedly failing to fulfil even basic needs.
The meeting was convened when Union Finance minister Arun Jaitely lauded the Naveen Patnaik-led government in his address at ‘Make In Odisha’ conclave. His appreciation had come barely a week after his own Amit Shah came down heavily on the BJD at a State level rally.
Earlier, Union Coal minister Piyush Goel also had praised the Odisha CM in a similar style.
However, Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who mostly puts his political focus on Odisha targeting the State government, has dubbed the ministers’ praiseworthy statements as a ‘courtesy’. “A courtesy remark should not be made an issue. The BJP’s stand in odisha has already been fixed by its national president. The BJD government is incapable, inefficient and most corrupt”, Pradhan told reporters in an apparent bid to ease the situation.
On the other hand, BJD is visibly glad after receiving appreciations from the union ministers one after another. “Truth comes out spontaneously. Naveen Babu is working for the people. He is most honest and gentle, a spotless leader. So, the union ministers like Arun Jaitely, Rajnath Singh and another one hailed him”, BJD spokesperson Surya Narayan Patro said.